COVID-19 and Your Bathroom: Keeping the Virus Out

COVID-19 and Your Bathroom: Keeping the Virus Out

If you ask people what they think is the most important part of their home, it’s highly likely that the bathroom will be among the top choices. Though it may not overcome the kitchen and the living room in popularity, your toilet and bath is the one place you run to when you need to freshen up and take care of business. Of course, things have changed since the virus dropped its lethal presence in America.

While a pre-pandemic survey by Ally Home reveals the family room as the most popular, it’s the master bedroom that’s taking the lead today. All the negative news and the increasing number of deaths are injecting fear into our very psyche. Hence, we have become inclined toward seeking comfort in the most relaxing portion of the house.

However, we should not let fear grip our lives. Rather, we should turn it into positive action to focus on our goal of staying free from the virus. Whether you like it or not, the bathroom plays a crucial role in that battle. Indeed, you need to ensure your toilet and bath stay pristine.

Then again, there’s certainly no need to be baffled. You can actually maintain your bathroom’s integrity with some tried-and-tested tips from the experts. Keep in mind that the bathroom is where all humans, thereby all microbes, pay a visit.

Not for Everyone

The bathroom can be a major source of infection if you’re not careful. For starters, you have to deal with aerosolized particles floating through the air. Anyone sneezing in there can leave these up in the air. Flushing the toilet can also cause clouds of aerosolized liquid to shoot in all directions. So, make sure you close the lid when you send waste down to the septic tank.

Then there’s the case for high-touch surfaces. As the virus can linger in these materials, you could be in danger if someone who’s infected gets in.

So a good rule of thumb for you is not to allow anybody who’s sick to use the bathroom. Instead, have him use another private toilet if you have one. However, if you don’t have a spare bathroom, make sure your sick family member properly disinfects the surfaces he or she touches after use.

If the person is too sick to clean, have a healthy adult person clean the area but in measured steps. Wait for as long as possible before entering and wear gloves and a mask. Make sure you wash the mask and your clothes when you’re done cleaning.

Of course, this is also true for everyone who does repairs on your bath. When things go out of hand (e.g., running toilet and leaking faucet) and you call a professional cleaning or plumbing service, make sure you choose a reliable service provider who observes CDC protocols when attending to your bathroom.

This also means you will have to be discerning about who can come into your home. Limit the number or, better yet, don’t invite people in until it becomes safe to do so.

Preventing the spread of the coronavirus - Harvard Health

You also can’t just have a party these days. In retrospect, parties have too often turned into super spreader events. Imagine how much strain you put on your bathroom when visitors use it. That’s the fastest way to get yourself infected.

Clean Right

The quality of the product you use also matters. To note, not all disinfectants are created equal. So if you’re using one, make sure you’re getting a high-quality disinfectant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) list of useful disinfectants should help you in this case.

Take note that everything people touch should be disinfected after. We’re talking about hairdryers, shavers, electric toothbrushes, for starters. If you’re not sure about your disinfectant, use 70% alcohol for best results.

When you clean hard surfaces (e.g., sinks and countertops), wipe them down leave them to dry. Wait for about three to five minutes before you rinse them with water.

If you really want to make the most of a cleaning agent, read the label. You lose a lot when you don’t. If you rush things and don’t give the products ample time to work, it may not be as effective. Following the manufacturer’s guidance, therefore, is the best way to go.

Soap Works Best

It takes a lot of patience to establish the right habits in keeping the virus out of your bathroom. Know that the virus could remain active for several days, so you will have to stay vigilant.

Chances are, your supply of disinfectants could be drying out. When you’re using one disinfectant after the other, your shelves could run empty.

The good news is you can actually use soap instead of the disinfectant. In fact, pundits point out that soap is actually better at fighting off viruses than disinfectants.

There’s a scientific explanation for this. When you look at the coronavirus under a microscope, you’ll see that the virus is surrounded by what’s called a ”lipid envelope.” When you use soap, this layer of protection is easily broken down, tearing the virus apart.

Truly, knowledge combined with diligence is key in keeping your bathroom as safe as possible. That should be a worthy undertaking for everyone to get through the pandemic.

Author: Michle Smith